Computers & Laptops

Asus targets ‘upgraders’ with new T200

Amrit Ramakrishnan | Updated on March 10, 2018 Published on April 01, 2015

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Multi-tasking at the workplace and at home is the new normal. Will this new Transformer dock into your lifestyle?



The new, older sibling in the transformer series, the Transformer Book T200 is Asus’ attempt at a sleek yet affordable 2-in-1 tablet that offers a full keyboard dock and user upgradable storage bay. This Windows-powered tablet can work as a standalone tablet and as a full-feature laptop PC when connected to the dock. 

Design

At first glance, the T200 looks like an oversized version of its smaller and popular sibling, the T100. And it’s heavy too, tipping the scale at almost 780 grams in Tab form. Connect it to the dock and you end up with 1.5 kilos of rugged plastic, quite some bulk for an 11-inch device. It looks very sleek though, the silver keyboard dock and the contrasting black screen giving it an air of sophistication. It does feel like something more expensive.

As a standalone Tab, it feels more rectangular than your conventional tablet. The 11.6 inch screen can be a bit ungainly in your hands. Holding the tablet abreast, typing text is a bit of a process. However, the touchscreen keyboard has been cleverly ‘spread’ across the screen. Half the alphabets and a few function keys are placed towards the left of the screen, making it easily accessible to the left thumb and ditto for the right too. The middle portion houses the numeric keys. 

Slide it into the dock and it instantly transforms into a generic laptop. The keyboard has properly spaced keys, offering good feedback. It also has a large and smooth track pad and a roomy palm rest. 

The tablet portion of the T200 includes a microSD slot, a microUSB port, a micro HDMI port and a microphone/headphone combo, while the keyboard dock sports Ethernet, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 slots. 

The silver Asus logo on the back of the tablet, which has a pattern of concentric circles, is flanked by speaker grilles, which are almost unnoticeable. A 5-megapixel camera sits at the center of the top edge, and a power button lies on its right. Lining the tablet’s right side are a volume rocker and a Windows button.

Specs

The T200 features the 32-bit, Windows 8.1 OS and the processor is the Intel Bay Trail Z3775 (same as in the current T100 but with higher clocking speeds of 2.39GHz, and 2MB cache).  It has a 5MP shooter at the rear and a 2MP snapper in the front for selfies and video calling.  Storage is 32 GB for the tablet and there is 500 GB on offer inside the dock. There is also 2GB of RAM. The screen ratio is 16:9 and pixel density is at 1366 x 768 with an IPS panel. 

Performance

The Asus’ hardware is designed for everyday tasks such as office productivity, Web browsing, and enjoying 720p video. Intel HD Graphics VGA gives it the gaming prowess, though the possibility of the T200 being used for the purpose is low.

In laptop mode, the Transformer Book T200 functions almost exactly like a regular notebook except for the fact that its display doesn’t tilt back far enough — only about 30 degrees past vertical, which a few people might not find adequate. The keyboard does not feel too upmarket, and the material feels a bit plasticky. Also, there is a bit of rattle while using the keys, which is in contrast to the laptop’s otherwise quiet performance.  

The integrated touchpad feels properly sized and provides accurate movements. The click pressure is a bit inconsistent though. It becomes vague as you move up the pad and the click is a bit noisy too.

The 1,366x768 resolution is limiting but acceptable on an 11.6-inch display. Streaming the movie trailer of the Dark Knight, the video reproduction was nice and vivid, and you could see Joker wasn’t kidding when he said he got his scars from his abusive drunkard of a father. Being an IPS panel, the colours are bright and viewing angles are excellent thanks to its broad ‘horizon’, but a reflective glass front makes it fairly difficult to use outside without the brightness ramped up to full. In addition, the thick black panel makes the screen smudge-happy. 

The speakers have fair sound quality and get loud enough for two people to watch a movie in a quiet environment. However, the two stereo speakers are positioned where you would grip the slate in tablet mode. This can muffle the sound to an extent. The T200’s battery should last you almost 9-10 hours without intensive use and 6-7 hours with gaming and movie watching.

Cameras

The 5-megapixel rear camera is obviously the better snapper here; it can take reasonable close-ups and smooth video with relatively accurate colour. But, it has the typical handicap in terms of lack of details while shooting distant objects. Another small issue is the focus point. It cannot be moved around like many other tablets, it can only be planted. 

The 2-megapixel front camera exhibited grainy quality even in well-lit conditions but has enough resolution to make out detail in faces and background objects.

Bottomline

The T200 is not a full on entertainment device. It is a great device for office productivity and other generic functions that are necessary, which is what it was designed for. Positives include reasonable build quality and connectivity, the handy storage upgrade bay in the keyboard dock and good battery life.

The T200 could have been better with slightly higher pixel density and screen resolution, a bit more flexibility with screen tilt in laptop mode and a lighter tab weight.  

Price: ₹35,999

Love: Stylish looks, battery life

Hate: Heavy tab, poor rear camera

Published on April 01, 2015

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